Tuvalu general election: Six newcomers in parliament

Aerial view of Tuvalu

Tuvalu’s senior electoral official has confirmed there will be six new MPs and 10 returning to Parliament following the 2024 general election which saw former Prime Minister Kausea Natano ousted.

The country went to the polls on Friday to elect a new 16-member parliament, with 6000 people registered to cast their votes in eight constituencies in the island nation.

There are no political parties in Tuvalu, which means that all candidates run as independents, and voters will select two lawmakers in each of the eight electorates.

Former Prime Minister Kausea Natano failed to get enough votes to return to parliament in the Funafuti constituency.

Dr Puakena Boreham, the only female candidate in this year’s election, represented Nui in the 2015 and 2019 elections but failed to get the numbers in this election.

Two noticeable new MPs are former Governor General Sir Iakoba Italeli Taeia, and Feleti Teo, former Executive Director of the Tuna Commission.

The Commissioner of Election, Dr Tufoua Panapa, thanked everyone who took part in the 2024 general election, from his team, the voters and all the volunteers.

Simon Kofe told RNZ Pacific before all the votes were tallied, that he was confident that he would get back into parliament.

“The second hurdle will be negotiating with other MPs to form a coalition to form a government,” he said.

“Given the nature of our system here where everyone comes in as an independent, I think there are a few key issues that might influence the various groupings after the election, one of which as you probably see in the media, there is one politician in particular who has expressed interest in revisiting the relationship with Taiwan and whether or not we should be switching to China.

“Some politicians have also expressed their view on the treaty with Australia, and there was some strong opposition on that as well, so I think those are probably two key issues that may influence the groupings after the election results come out,” Kofe said.

The results

Nukulaelaere-elected uncontested

Seve Paeniu – returning MP (govt)
Namoliki Sualiki Neemia – returning MP (opp)

Nanumea

Ampelosa Manoa Tehulu (490) – returning MP (govt)
Tiimi Melei (296) – returning MP (govt)
Temetiu Maliga (246)
Satini Tulaga Manuella (178)
Falasese Tupou (130)

Nanumaga

Monise Tuivaka Laafai (292) – returning MP (opp)
Hamoa Holona* (265) – new MP
Malofou Sopoaga (251)
Kitiona Tausi (167)

Funafuti

Tuafafa Latasi* (351) – new MP
Simon Kofe (348) – returning MP (only resigned as a minister) (govt)
Kausea Natano (331)
Iosua Samasoni (53)
Luke Paeniu (37)
Jack Mataio Taleka (9)

Nui

Mckenzie Kiritome (352) – returning MP (opp)
Sir Iakoba Italeli Taeia* (311) – new MP
Dr Puakena Boreham (291)

Niutao

Feleti Penitala Teo* (581) – new MP
Saaga Talu Teafa (499) – returning MP (govt)
Sam Penitala Teo (172)

Nukufetau

Panapasi Nelesoni (408) – returning MP (govt)
Enele Sopoaga (402) – returning MP (Leader of opp)
Taimitasi Paelati (374)
Nikolasi Apenelu (324)

Vaitupu

Paulson Panapa* (585) – new MP
Maina Talia* (448) – new MP
Nielu Meisake (420)
Isaia Taape (349)

This story has been updated. It had originally stated that there were eight new MPs in Parliament. That was incorrect.

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